PACIFIC MEDIA
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History's Verdict: Leaders Judgement

For an objective historical judgement on the greatest conflict the human race has ever experienced, it is vital to know the men who led it. Today, thanks to decades of work by countless historians and the innumerable files declassified by governments worldwide, we now have the opportunity to judge those leaders effectively and impartially.

   
  
 
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    Some of these leaders were unsure whether they were fighting one war or several wars. Others were convinced the conflict was global. What is certain is that the Second World War was a Total War, which saw frequent political errors in the most political war of all time.     Pacific Media have assembled a group of expert historians, researchers and analysts from King’s College, one of mainland Europe’s most prestigious educational institutions, to create the documentary series History’s Verdict. From an up-to-the-minute viewpoint, and packed with fresh historical discoveries, their scripts deliver fair and wise verdicts on World War 2’s most powerful figures.

Some of these leaders were unsure whether they were fighting one war or several wars. Others were convinced the conflict was global. What is certain is that the Second World War was a Total War, which saw frequent political errors in the most political war of all time.

 

Pacific Media have assembled a group of expert historians, researchers and analysts from King’s College, one of mainland Europe’s most prestigious educational institutions, to create the documentary series History’s Verdict. From an up-to-the-minute viewpoint, and packed with fresh historical discoveries, their scripts deliver fair and wise verdicts on World War 2’s most powerful figures.

   
  
 
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    The series consists of 13 self-contained episodes each lasting 60 minutes:   1.             History's Verdict: Hitler  2.            History's Verdict: Mussolini  3.            History's Verdict: Stalin  4.            History's Verdict: Churchill  5.            History's Verdict: Roosevelt  6.            History's Verdict: Hirohito  7.            History's Verdict: Himmler  8.            History's Verdict: Montgomery  9.            History's Verdict: Patton  10.           History's Verdict:De Gaulle  11.            History's Verdict: MacArthur  12.           History's Verdict: Rommel  13.          History's Vrdict: Eisenhower

The series consists of 13 self-contained episodes each lasting 60 minutes:

1.             History's Verdict: Hitler
2.            History's Verdict: Mussolini
3.            History's Verdict: Stalin
4.            History's Verdict: Churchill
5.            History's Verdict: Roosevelt
6.            History's Verdict: Hirohito
7.            History's Verdict: Himmler
8.            History's Verdict: Montgomery
9.            History's Verdict: Patton
10.          History's Verdict:De Gaulle
11.           History's Verdict: MacArthur
12.          History's Verdict: Rommel
13.          History's Vrdict: Eisenhower

Hitler

Hitler

An Enemy of All the People - the Man Who Fought the World

A magnificent script fuses stunning images of his life and times, newly declassified revelations, testimony from the world's greatest historians and thinkers, and the chilling words of the Fuhrer himself and those of his closest henchmen to deliver History’s Verdict on Hitler.

Opening with an astonishing series of insights into the formative years of the future dictator, we trace how the unremarkable son of a provincial bully experienced failure in love and art to then find happiness in the midst of a bloodbath. How Germany's defeat in the Great War catalysed his anti-Semitism and sense of destiny. How his propaganda gurus helped him win vast support in a failed state and pervert it into his Reich. Then how his reeling foreign opponents are struck by his lightning war.

We witness Hitler's raw talent for strategy. His pitiless drive for war - and for war crimes. His complex relations with the men of his inner circle. His tortured relations with the women around him.

Hitler is measured against other Nazi leaders, his generals and his enemies.

We chart how initial dazzling successes on the battlefields amplify both Hitler's hubris and the horror of his plans.

We see how his fanaticism and his sentimentalism make him a disastrous ally. And how an awesome coalition forms against him.

Stalin’s own contributions to the decisive battles of the eastern Front – Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk – are analysed, as well as the role of Zhukov, the weather and Siberian troops in saving the U.S.S.R.

Yet we also see how he is resisted; how he is defeated; how he is destroyed.

Mussolini

Mussolini

A skilled journalist and a master spin doctor, Mussolini created immensely powerful myths about himself and his regime. Myths that have endured for over 70 years, baffling both his contemporaries and modern historians in equal measure. Myths that have allowed Il Duce to escape history's definitive verdict...until now.

We deliver the truth about this divisive yet fascinating figure. From his early foreign policy to eventual involvement in WW2, we unveil the reality of his imperial aims.

We examine Mussolini’s shifting international relationships. Why did he choose the Axis with Nazi Germany over an alliance with Britain? How did he did lose his dominance within the Axis to become Hitler’s subordinate? The complex race question is also examined. Did Italian Fascism share the same virulent anti-Semitic and racialist views as National Socialism? We offer insights into the Italian performance in WW2, as well as Mussolini’s dramatic personal downfall and macabre death. “History’s Verdict” delivers the final judgement on the legacy of this founding father of Fascism. Does he deserve condemnation as merely another brutal twentieth century dictator, or was there a more benevolent side to this complex character?

Stalin

Stalin

He was the Man of Steel and the Man of Irony

Via stunning contemporary footage, freshly declassified discoveries, a brilliant script, insights from the greatest historians of the past seventy years and the unforgettable words of the dictator himself and the people who knew him best, we deliver History’s Verdict on Stalin.

Opening with the colossal Nazi invasion of the U.S.S.R., we show how Stalin himself almost helped Hitler to conquer the Soviet Union in the first few weeks of Barbarossa. How his paranoia regarding his own commanders and potential allies blinded him to Hitler’s plans. How his attempts to appease Hitler failed. And his lack of leadership in the disastrous opening stages of the campaign.

We then witness his resolution to resist the invaders and how he inspired his people to virtually superhuman acts of bravery. However, we also see his utter ruthlessness in terrorising his subjects into facing Nazi atrocities, too.

Stalin’s own contributions to the decisive battles of the eastern Front – Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk – are analysed, as well as the role of Zhukov, the weather and Siberian troops in saving the U.S.S.R.

We show how Stalin was frequently able to dominate his partners in “The Big Three” – Churchill and Roosevelt – and we look at his merciless treatment of enemies – the Germans – but also so-called allies – the Poles.

We reveal how the complex psychology of the man – with vast talents existing alongside monstrous flaws - was crucial to victory. And we examine his ambivalent legacy and how it haunts the former Soviet Union to this day.

Churchill

Churchill

"Cometh the hour, cometh the man..."

Using fascinating, rarely-seen footage and his original broadcast speeches, this documentary presents a fresh view of the British war leader as he pursues an independent, and then allied, war against Hitler and the Axis Powers. With the help of new evidence and insights into his aims and actual achievements, we analyse his crucial contribution to the greatest war in history, and the peace that ensued.

Beginning with the fall of France in the Summer of 1940, and the defence of the island of Britain itself, Churchill's military decisions and simultaneous diplomatic efforts to gather an alliance, are explored. His defiant stand, at home and abroad, are central to his achievement, and his galvanising effect on his people and armed services is shown to be pivotal to British, and world, history.

We show that his faith in an eventual American alliance was there from the outset, but we reveal the double-edged sword of this formidable and inevitably victorious partnership. In participating in the war, America would massively increase her economic and military power, and British global dominance was the price Churchill was forced to pay. His Russian alliance, equally, shows the dangers of waking a sleeping giant, and Churchill's changing perception of Stalin's power and intent would shape much of his conduct of the latter years of the war.

His necessary ambivalence towards a far-flung empire is analysed. Fighting on so many fronts, and frustrated by his lack of a foothold in mainland Europe, Churchill made strategic and diplomatic decisions for the most part forced on him by circumstances. His outward refusal to countenance any change in the pre-war order, while it was at one with his aim of unconditional victory, shows the empire slipping away, whatever he did, or did not do, to shore it up. The theme of military boldness, coupled with archaic and, at times, arrogant attitudes, is once again striking. 

We show his disappointment in the peace, and his attempts to push British aims and interests - and what he rightly saw as global concerns -  to the very end, when his junior status within the "Big Three" was evident.

Finally, we explore this complex, fascinating and iconic figure, his overall contribution to the most significant armed victory of all time, and his importance to history, and the present world. Both the myth, and the truth, about this unique personality are shown, and we finish with another example of his legacy of spoken words, which he rightly saw as a weapon as powerful as any military resource, and which spoke not only to the minds, but also the hearts of the English-speaking world - and beyond.

Roosevelt

Roosevelt

Much loved by America and elected President for an unprecedented four terms. Renowned for his domestic policy and paternalism in America’s darkest days of the Depression. We now deliver history’s verdict on Roosevelt’s involvement in World War 2.

Starting in the 1930s, we analyse how Roosevelt offered aid to the Allies and eventually became embroiled in the Second World War despite America's strict neutrality laws. We also examine the darker side of Roosevelt’s character and the controversy surrounding the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour. Were the Japanese provoked? Did Roosevelt know of the impending Japanese attack? The definitive verdict is also delivered on Roosevelt’s vast contribution to the course of WW2, the post-war peace agreements and his enduring legacy. Did he herald an age of International co-operation? Or was Roosevelt responsible for welding the Iron Curtain firmly shut - depriving Eastern Europe of the light of liberty for almost half a century?

Hirohito

Hirohito

Heaven's Emperor; Man of Science; Survivor

Extraordinary images, brilliant writing, the latest declassified information, witnesses from among the greatest historians, and the hitherto unknown words of the Emperor himself deliver History’s Verdict on Hirohito.

Opening with the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor and his role in it, we trace how this great admirer of the Western world had overseen his country's march to war with both the United States of America and the British Empire.

We learn of his childhood cloistered away from the world. Yet how he visits Europe and learns what freedom is.

We see how his legendary grandfather overshadowed his mentally ill father.

We bear witness to the many attempts on his life. We watch his country modernize rapidly, yet face many threats, both internal and external. And we see how Hirohito reacts to all of this.

Japan's atrocities in China are revealed and we investigate whether the Emperor was in any way responsible.

We examine the truth behind the myth of his so-called divine nature.

Hirohito's contributions to the Second World War receive the most detailed examination yet.

And we watch how he helps save a country already blasted by atomic attack from the almost certain annihilation of national suicide and colossal invasion.

How he saves himself from Western retribution and guides his nation to decades of prosperity and peace.

The Second World War's most enigmatic leader is revealed more clearly than in any other documentary ever made in English.

Himmler

Himmler

Much has been documented about Himmler as the incarnation of pure evil and the puppet master behind the Holocaust.

Now, history’s verdict reveals that he was much more than a mere slaughterer of Jews. 

For all his ills, Himmler was a visionary.  He longed for a utopia based on the blood community of the Aryan race.  What lengths was he prepared to go to in order to obtain ‘good blood’ as well as removing the bad?

The infamous SS is also examined in detail.  Were they just the machinery of murder?  What other duties did they perform to help the Nazi war effort, and what about their sense of pride and code of honour?

Himmler’s personal idiosyncrasies and occultish fantasies are also discussed in detail, and to what level did he impress them upon his men and society at large?

We also analyse his relationship with the Fuhrer himself?  Was Himmler his most loyal of followers or perhaps his most cunning adversary?

Finally, History’s verdict is offered on Himmler’s role in the Holocaust and the extent to which it was planned or improvised?

Montgomery

Montgomery

Adored by the ordinary soldiers who served under him and the hero Britain needed in the “Darkest Hour” of its long history, Montgomery was also often hated by his peers, his superiors and his allies.

Our brilliant documentary will explain why this was so by providing the most revealing insights ever into this complex, brilliant and infuriating man. Newly declassified revelations, testimony from the world's greatest military historians and thinkers, the frequently witty words of the Field Marshal himself and those of his admirers and enemies will accompany awesome images of Montgomery at work and at war to deliver History’s Verdict on Monty.

Rarely explored aspects of his life will be uncovered: his childhood as the son of a Bishop and a mother who didn’t love him. His near death experiences in the battlefields of the Great War. His campaign against the IRA in the 1920s, which gained him the respect of the Republicans he fought. His textbook fighting retreat to Dunkirk in 1940 in the midst of the chaos of the Fall of France. His victories in the deserts of Africa, Sicily, France, and the humiliation of Arnhem. We witness how Montgomery’s talent for planning, training and strategy was matched by his talent for self-publicity and alienating his colleagues.

We look at his family life, his career after the war and his retirement. His religious beliefs and his enigmatic sexuality.

All of these shaped the “Master of the Battlefield” – the man who accepted the surrender of the Third Reich’s greatest generals on Luneburg Heath in 1945.

Patton

Patton

He remains the most famous Allied general of the Second World War thanks to George C Scott’s unforgettable performance in the Oscar winning movie.

But our remarkable documentary reveals there was vastly more to Patton than his so-called lust for glory. We provide a concise and comprehensive overview of the great battlefield commander the Wehrmacht’s generals most feared.

The son of a rich, distinguished family, the young Patton loved the Classics and history, was an Olympic athlete and “master of the Sword”. But he also had revolutionary ideas about how the US Army should fight modern wars. Ideas he tested against reality in action in Mexico and the Great War.

We study his complex relationships with other generals and follow his successful Second World War campaigns in North Africa, Italy, the Low Countries, but also his unsuccessful “behind-the-scenes” confrontations with his superiors and the politicians.

We show how he could be worshipped by the ordinary GIs under his command because of his care for them, yet still come close to being court-martialed in notorious incidents involving men recovering in hospital.

His life ended in controversy and mystery and we examine the reality behind this.

In one brilliant hour of amazing images and wonderful words, we deliver History’s Verdict on General George S Patton.

De Gaulle

De Gaulle

In 1940 he fought against, but could not prevent, the greatest humiliation in the history of the France he loved so dearly.

How did Charles De Gaulle recover from this? How did he preserve the spirit of France? Then help liberate his nation? Then go on to lead it as its most important political figure since his fellow general, Napoleon?

We trace the growth of De Gaulle: the precocious child of nationalist, religious yet progressive. The lover of history who early on became suspicious of the British.  The ambitious young officer with revolutionary views about mobile warfare in a country first mired in the trenches of the Western Front then blinded by the folly of the Maginot Line.

We watch his impressive fight against the Germans in 1940 when his fellow commanders were shaming themselves. How he refused to accept the vile compromises of the Vichy regime.

We witness his difficult co-existence with his British hosts. And his even stormier relationship with his American allies. We see his triumphant return to France.

De Gaulle’s proud personality and its effect on France’s curious and complex post-war fortunes are scrutinised.

Amazing footage and a brilliant script deliver History’s Verdict on De Gaulle.

Mac Arthur

Mac Arthur

He was a US Army general who was also the only ever Field Marshal of the Philippine Army, and this symbolizes MacArthur’s visionary belief that Asia would dominate the future of the world.

How did he turn initial disasters in the Pacific War against Japan to a famous comeback that would make him a national hero? How did his occupation of Japan help transform the ancient nation into a modern peaceful rich society? Why did he spare Emperor Hirohito from near-certain trial for war crimes?

And how did this beloved public figure come to be fired by President Truman at the height of another Asian war, this time in Korea?

Our fascinating documentary answers these, and many other, questions. We present History’s Verdict on the complex life and the complicated personality of Douglas MacArthur.

Rommel

Rommel

Erwin Rommel has achieved almost legendary status as the German Field Marshall of World war Two?  Mainly for his cunning in outwitting and outmanoeuvring his allied enemies he is now known as the desert fox.

This is a truly remarkable achievement, given the hatred for Nazism and all things Nazi in the wake of World War Two.

But History’s verdict asks if this is a deserving accolade?

Ironically, often those who admired him most were his former enemies; while some of his strongest criticism came from fell German officers.  Just what were his true strengths and achievements as well as his weaknesses?

Was he the master tactician and perfect soldier, one of the only men willing to speak out against the evils of Nazism?  Or was he an unnecessary risk taker, a glory hunter who had no grasp of overall military strategy?

The relationship with Hitler is also examined in detail.  What Nazi views, if any, did he share, and what was his role in the plot to the kill the Fuhrer?

For Rommel the Jury is out and seventy years after his death, History is finally ready to offer its verdict.

Eisenhower

Eisenhower

Ike’s public image is frequently overshadowed by more attention-grabbing colleagues. Cases in point: General Patton, his World War 2 subordinate; and JFK, his successor as President of the United States of America.

But we reveal that there is far more to Ike than the myth of his being an uncharismatic conservative in everything he did.

We examine his rise from humble origins in Kansas. His loving family relationships – including a pacifist mother – that led to his concern for the wellbeing of those he was responsible for. His military education that gave him a vision of how to take the US Army into the 20th century.

Fate made him miss the fighting in World War 1 – a fact his critics often unfairly used against him – but military career prepared him to deal with complex personalities like Marshall, Montgomery or Churchill and oversee vast operations.

We witness his immense responsibilities, challenges and victories in the Second World War. We watch how he reluctantly became President and fought a Cold War and a Korean War.

We cut through the shifting fog of fashion clouding his reputation to deliver History’s Verdict on Dwight Eisenhower.

Written by

Written by

Paul McNally

Graham Birrell

Christopher Monaghan

Bob Howard

Michael O’Connor 

 

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